Smaller crowd but plenty of outrage at tax rally
Organizers of Tuesday's property tax rally fell short of their predicted 1,000 people. But the 300-400 who did show up made for a spirited bunch, whipped up by speeches by Gov. Charlie Crist and House Speaker Marco Rubio.
"For the last seven weeks, in the building behind me, the only people we have heard from are the people charging the taxes," Rubio said. "Today, with you here, we are starting to hear from the people paying the taxes."
Rubio sent mixed signals as the House and Senate begin to debate competing tax plans. "Regardless of where it comes from, we will support the plan that cuts taxes the most," said Rubio, whose plan is roughly twice as big as the Senate's. "I can get you a consensus package," he went on. "But consensus isn't going to pay your bills." The Senate is touting a bi-partisan effort.
The rally was organized by Brett Doster's Floridians for Property Tax Reform, which has expressed general support for Rubio's proposal. Many people arrived by bus from Miami and Broward, but there were others from central Florida and Tampa Bay. "This is a picture of desperation," said Wayne Dukes of Hernando County.